Leave no doubt about safety of rides

During the Ohio State Fair in Columbus last year, a thrill ride, the Fire Ball, broke apart. Several people were injured. An 18-year-old man was killed.

The previous year, a water park in Kansas unveiled a 17-story water slide. A raft carrying a 10-year-old boy down it went airborne. An overhead hoop decapitated the child.

KMG, the Dutch manufacturer of the Fire Ball, investigated, concluding that accident was caused by corrosion of a support beam. Multiple inspections failed to disclose it before the fatal malfunction.

The Kansas waterslide tragedy is being blamed on a water park co-owner who allegedly made a hasty decision to erect the world’s tallest waterslide and a designer accused of shoddy work. Both were arrested last week and charged with reckless second-degree murder.

Warmer weather is nearly upon us. That means fairs, carnivals and assorted festivals, many of which will offer thrill rides.

It also should mean state agencies responsible for inspecting and approving such rides are on guard. If officials and/or inspectors have even the smallest doubt about safety, they should not permit the rides to operate.

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